Abstract

Electromagnetic diffraction of a light wave by a single aperture of subwavelength width and subsequent propagation in a lossy medium are numerically investigated. This diffraction problem simulates exposure of a resist with an amplitude mask. It is found that there is the possibility of fabricating a λ/2 structure on a resist of λ/4 thickness, where λ is the wavelength of the exposing light in vacuum, by conventional contact or by proximity lithography. It is also found that an air gap between a mask and a resist of up to λ/2 does not have a significant effect on resolution. This approach permits easy and cost-effective fabrication of subwavelength structures and leads to wide availability of diffractive optical elements in the nonscalar domain.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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